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  • scottgullickson

5 Questions to Build Your Strategic Plan

Do you know where you're taking your company? If you asked your employees, would they give you the same answer? How about what your plan is to get there? Strategic planning can be looked at as a daunting event with lots of research and empty promises that are the flavor of the month. However, it does not need to be. A strategic plan can mean different things to people. My mentality is: less is more. Which is why I rollout a simplified strategic plan with small businesses. Why Should You Have A Strategic Plan? Strategic Plans, when rolled out properly, get everyone in an organization on the same page with where they're going and how they will get there. When overly complicated or not rolled out properly, they are not as effective and don't make as big of an impact as they could have. They should be used to guide your decision making. Think about it. Would you set the same marketing campaigns and sales goals if you were in a growth mode vs. a maintain mode? The strategic plan is your tool for getting everyone on the same page so they can execute according to the plan with the bigger picture in mind. The 5 Questions Complexity slows things down and muddies the water. That's why focusing on these 5 questions gives organizations clarity on where they're going and the plan to get there.

1. Why

This is the purpose behind why your business exists. You need to be deeply passionate about it. What is your organization's purpose?

2. Who

Your values define who you are as an organization and what you stand for. They are your guiding principles and need to be used when making decisions. What are your organization's values?

3. What

You need to identify your niche. What are you great at and love doing? This needs to be where you focus your time and efforts. If you try to be everything to everyone, you'll be nobody to no one. What is your niche?

4. Where

This is the one-big-goal your company has. It is 5-15 years out and should align with your purpose and niche. Once this is defined, it's important to paint a picture of what your organization will look like in three years - the 3-Year Bet. This will help get everyone on the same page and set you up for better one year planning. Where are you taking your organization? 5. How

Now that you have your vision laid out, it's time to put together a plan to get there. Marketing Blueprint - Having everyone on the same page with who your target audience is and consistently using the message that is most attractive to them. 1-Year Plan - Defining what goals need to be completed this year in order to be on track for your 3-Year Bet. Quarterly Plan - Create clarity and focus on a handful of highest priority objectives that need to be completed in the next 90 days. Watch List - Keep all of your issues and opportunities that are important but don't need to be resolved now in front of your team to be reviewed and prioritized next quarter. Working through these with your leaders is important and the first step. Once your leadership team is on the same page, you should roll this out to the rest of your organization in order to get the maximum benefits. Now What? Do ships reach their destination by aimlessly drifting through the water? Nope. The rudder navigates them around obstacles and gets them to their destination. Do you think your business will land where you want it to in 5-15 years without a well-defined strategic plan? Ding, ding, ding!! Your strategic plan is your compass that shows everyone on your team where you're going and the plan to get there. Need help clarifying where you're taking your company and a plan to get there? Contact me to schedule a free discovery meeting to learn more.

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